Confederates Given Amnesty
Moments In Civil Rights History
On May 22, 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Amnesty Act of 1872, restoring rights to the Confederacy. Limited amnesty had been offered to Confederate soldiers previously, to encourage loyalty and begin the reconstruction process. The 1872 Act ended voting restrictions and office-holding disqualifications against more than 150,000 former Confederate troops but excluded some 500 military leaders of the Confederacy.